Genocide Survivor Speaks to Crowd of 75 at Fisher
On Wednesday, November 7, representatives of the Foundations of Hope (FOH) Ministries educated a group of 75 students, faculty, and staff about the Gatumba Massacre in Rwanda. FOH was founded in Rwanda by survivors of the massacre, and the Rochester chapter was started by the Munyakuri family, who were granted refugee resettlement status by the United States government and moved to Rochester in 2005.
Guest speaker Sandra Uwiringiy'imana lived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during the massacre. Uwiringiy'imana is Congolese (Banyamulengue), which is the ethnic group that was persecuted and not recognized as citizens of the DRC.
During the rise of ethnic hatred and violence in 2004, Uwiringiy'imana’s family fled across the border to Burundi to the Gatumba camp. On August 13, 2004, militia attacked the camp with machetes, gunfire, grenades, and fire. The Gatumba Massacre resulted in the murder of 166 unarmed refugees and 116 were injured. Uwiringiy'imana’s six-year-old sister Deborah was among the victims who were brutally murdered. Three years later, when Uwiringiy'imana was 13 years old, she and her surviving family members came to the United States.
During her presentation, Uwiringiy'imana displayed photos that are part of her “Survivors” photo exhibit while she shared her story of survival. The exhibit will be displayed in Lavery Library from January 11, 2013 through March 11, 2013. Various traditional ethnic songs were sung throughout the evening, which exposed the participants to the music and dialect from the DRC.
Foundation of Hope (FOH) is an organization committed to helping refugee children and their families, primarily from Rwanda.